Most prominent inverters according to generation capacity.
The report has been sub-divided into chapters and different chapters will be presented on different pages. This chapter covers inverters and reflect inverter statistics derived from figures submitted by installers and suppliers of products and services in South Africa.
This short report only provides data on South African Installers, installations, suppliers and brands active in South Africa within the Solar PV sector. Future reports may include information on activities in other African countries.
In SA there are more than 70 inverter brands currently being used in grid tied, hybrid and off-grid applications. These brands, along with the names and location of the distributors for each brand can all be seen on
the inverter listing page. Of the 70 odd inverter brands available locally only 25 brands appear in the data of installed capacity, as being listed against an installation.
Currently there is no charge for listing as a supplier, installer or even listing a particular brand of product or installation. Originally listings contained very limited fields which excluded any type of data on type/brand of equipment used. Additional fields were added where installers also supplied information of the equipment used in the installation i.e, the brand of inverter, brand of modules used and mounting structure brand used in a specific installation. These additional fields were however only added as optional fields from Mid 2015 onwards.
Where data for this part of the report is sourced from
Subsequently the following inverter suppliers/brands have submitted data to be included in the figures.
- ABB through Allelec,
- Delta through Sunsave Power Projects.
- Imeon through Rubicon,
- KACO through Off-Grid Technologies,
- All other data was either submitted by installers or sourced when searching for projects on social media posts and news related articles.
- Data received from installers was cross-referenced with existing data on installed capacity in order to reduce the number of possible duplications that may exist within the various sources.
Description of inverter brands
Of the 70 brands mentioned above we are aware of only 25 brands being used in installations as having been mentioned in data submitted by installers and suppliers/manufacturers and can be seen in table 9 below. All brands in table 9 have been listed in alphabetical order.
Data duplication & integrity
It is possible for data to be duplicated through submissions done by different stakeholders involved on the same project. As an example Installer A might submit data of a 10kWp system installed in P.E, but do not disclose the inverter brand used at the specific site/installation for which data was submitted. Supplier AA might submit sales data regarding a specific brand of inverter sold which would include Installer A’s sale/site. It is therefor possible for some level of duplication to occur in data. However based on the number of installers and the lack of historical installation data, it is unlikely that even with a limited number of duplications, the total listed generation capacity would be exceeded. Through research and lead generation we are aware of approx 400 companies currently involved in the solar PV sector of which a little more than 100 have submitted data on installations.
Data representing specific inverter brands.
When table 9 is examined; 28 unique brands of inverters can be seen. The only items not representing a specific brand would be items 17, 20 & 27. Clarification for those three items have been explained under sub-headings below:
- Item 17 – No Inverter Used
- PV generation Capacity included in this item reflects government concession program installations. These installations are typically extremely small (100Wp and smaller) installations and may be supplied to the consumer as a unit that does not contain an inverter and where power generated would mainly be used for charging batteries, cellphones, and 12V lights.
- Item 20 – Pump Inv. / VSD’s
- Farms make use of solar powered pumps to provide water for livestock and game. Data from solar boreholes discount the use of specific brand inverters used in farming applications simply due to the wide variety of equipment that can be combined with solar pumping kits. Raw data on Solar pumping inverter brands, and conversions to variable speed drives are not known and therefor no further clarification is provided for this item.
- Item 27 – Unknown
- These are installations, where the brand of inverter that was used in the specific application/installation is not known. The installation might have been submitted where the data regarding the inverter brand used did not accompany the set of information regarding a particular installation.
Inverters listed below indicate the complete list of brands we have been able to identify as brands that are available locally. This could either be grid-tied, hybrid, bi-directional or off-grid units. No distinction is made around the function or reliability of the unit, but should rather only be use to indicate the competitive landscape for technology in the solar PV sector locally.